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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Democrats made history in 2008. We suspect they will want to do so again in 2016, which is just another reason why Hillary Clinton is such an obvious front-runner for her party’s presidential nomination, as long as she wants it. After electing the first black president, there is going to be a strong desire on the left to elect the nation’s first woman president. Psychologically, the recent death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may reinforce this thinking. As an undergraduate female student said to one of us, 'The U.K. got its first woman head of government in 1979. It’s more than 30 years later, and the U.S.A. is still waiting for its first woman president.' If this 'our turn' sentiment takes hold, it cannot hurt in a nation where women are 52% to 53% of the usual general election turnout. And the Democratic electorate is far more disproportionately female. Since the 2000 election, nearly three of every five Americans who cast ballots for the Democratic nominee for president have been women, as shown in Chart 1. Republicans could scramble this equation by nominating a woman for president. But based on the list we’ll release next week, that’s very unlikely. What about a female VP nominee? After Geraldine Ferraro (D-1984) and Sarah Palin (R-2008), the novelty of that ploy has probably worn off. Not surprisingly, it’s the Democrats — with their women-dominated base — who are more likely to break the presidential nominee glass ceiling. While there are back-up Democratic female candidates if she doesn’t run, Hillary Clinton is in a commanding position to fill the role for 2016. Clinton’s strengths are obvious, although let’s not forget that she was also a strong favorite going into the 2008 election. Had Clinton run a better campaign — one that focused on playing the long game of winning delegates, contest by contest, especially in the caucuses — she very well might have fought off Barack Obama’s challenge. Emotions ran high during the final months of the primary battle, and Clinton was disliked by many elements of the party by the end of the contest. The wounds appear to have healed over time — helped along not only by her performance as Obama’s secretary of state but also by her husband’s energetic backing of the president last year — but one could imagine a perfect storm of events, and a perfect Democratic insurgent, upsetting the Clinton coronation. However, no fair analyst can take such a contrarian argument against a Clinton nomination very far at this early point. If she runs, she is a clear, perhaps overwhelming, favorite to win her party’s nomination. Period." (CenterforPolitics)


"Just after noon I went down to Michael’s for the Wednesday lunch, as if on automatic pilot. Traffic was heavy on the Drive, crosstown and everywhere but Fifth Avenue. A lot of tourists. You can tell because they dress much more casually than New Yorkers on Fifth Avenue in the middle of the week. And they are often in a confab with one or two of them holding a map, and someone else explaining. Sometimes they’ll stop someone who looks like a New Yorker (to them) and ask directions. They’re always surprised at how friendly New Yorkers are ...  I was yesterday lunching with Ann Rapp who is now an old friend but whom I first met when I returned to New York from California twenty years ago. Ann was born and grew up in Los Angeles and we shared and continue to share a vivid, almost literary nostalgia for the place. In her girlhood she grew up with a lot of the children of the Hollywood stars of the mid-century and it’s 'Golden Age' ... The front room was abuzz. Carl Spielvogel was lunching with Eliot Spitzer; Anthony Shriver was with Anne Hearst and Allison Mazzola. Next to us on one side, Ed Forst; on the other, Greg Kelly and Renato Scotto, the Fox 5 stars. Jimmy Finkelstein was lunching with Janice Min of the Hollywood Reporter. Catherine Saxton was hosting Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas who were in town for the Marty Richards memorial the other night at the Supper Club. Bob Friedman with Jay Kriegel; Star Jones with Adaora Udoji of NPR and Alexis McGill; Sanford & Stein (David and Lewis); Alice Mayhew; Judy Price. Documentarian Ken Burns with Steven Greenberg;. Also Martin Puris; Andrew Sollinger; Andrew Stein; Michael Kassan; Hearst’s Newell Turner with Michael McGraw of Hearst PR, and Los Angeles interior designer Peter Dunham; Jonathan Resnick, Shelley Zalis. Moving around the room: Lally Weymouth; Wednesday Martin with Amy Tarr; Boaty Boatright with Jane Buffet (Mrs. Jimmy)." (NYSocialDiary)



"The Yangtze River is the key geographic, ecological, cultural and economic feature of China. Stretching 6,418 kilometers from its source in the Tibetan Plateau to its terminus in the East China Sea, the river both divides and connects the country. To its north lie the wheat fields and coal mines of the North China Plain and Loess Plateau, which unified China's traditional political cores. Along its banks and to the south are the riverine wetlands and terraced mountain faces that historically supplied China with rice, tea, cotton and timber. The river passes through the highlands of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, the fertile Sichuan Basin, the lakes and marshes of the Middle Yangtze and on to the trade hubs of the Yangtze River Delta. Its watershed touches 19 provinces and is central to the economic life of more people than the populations of Russia and the United States combined. The river's dozens of tributaries reach from Xian, in the southern Shaanxi province, to northern Guangdong -- a complex of capillaries without which China likely would never have coalesced into a single political entity. The Yangtze, even more than the Yellow River, dictates the internal constraints on and strategic imperatives of China's rulers. The Yellow River may be the origin of the Han Chinese civilization, but on its own it is far too weak to support the economic life of a great power. The Yellow River is China's Hudson or Delaware. By contrast, the Yangtze is China's Mississippi -- the river that enabled China to become an empire. Just as the Mississippi splits the United States into east and west, the Yangtze divides China into its two most basic geopolitical units: north and south. This division, more than any other, forms the basis of Chinese political history and provides China's rulers with their most fundamental strategic imperative: unity of the lands above and below the river. Without both north and south, there is no China, only regional powers." (STRATFOR)


"It was 1 a.m. on the Bowery, and someone wanted a picture taken. A pair of barely dressed, plain-faced girls clutched each other, giggling, as they approached 27-year-old Kirill Bichutsky, who was perched against a wall in the VIP section of the nightclub Finale. Outside, on this Thursday in March, was a swarm of freezing 20-somethings trying to finagle their way through the door. 'Kirill, hi!' the taller of the two women shouted nervously to Mr. Bichutsky, who was identifiable by a T-shirt and a hat, both bearing the name of his website, Kirill Was Here. He held his camera, ready, in one hand.
'I think my friend wants a champagne facial …' the woman yelled, as her friend elbowed her, embarrassed, but in silent non-denial of the request to be sprayed in the face and have it captured on camera. Mr. Bichutsky, the nearly infamous party photographer, jumped into action at their approach. 'Champagne facial?' he was overheard saying, as he began asking club staffers about the possibility of acquiring a bottle, his words barely audible over the music. 'Let me take your picture …' The difference between this photo and the majority of the others on his website, is that the pair of women kept their clothes on. But, as Mr. Bichutsky reminded us, it was only 1 a.m." (Observer)



"I went to Henry Street’s Spring 2013 Gala Dinner Dance at The Plaza where Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster was honored. David Patrick Columbia presented her and Anna Pinheiro and Alexandra Lebenthal said a few words about Carolina. Carolina also runs the walk about foundation. So many people turned out for the event including David Garza, Reed Krakoff, Carolyn Murphy, Lesley Schulhof, Muffie Potter Aston, Annelise Peterson, Dee Hilfiger, Delphine Krakoff, Alina Cho, Allison Brokaw ..." (HauteLiving)

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